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Voices The Rise of Social Movements



Women’s rights in the new Islamist states

Isobel Coleman by Isobel Coleman
Council on Foreign Relations
June 2012

The dictatorships have been toppled, but will the new regimes rising up in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings be any more sympathetic to the struggle for women’s rights in the region? The near term looks challenging but longer term, the picture brightens.


A lens on social movements

Andrew Burton by Andrew Burton
June 2012

In 2011, a freelance journalist from New York City covered two historic moments of civil unrest. From the Arab uprising in Tahrir Square to the Occupy movement in Zuccotti Park, Burton captured images that tell the story behind these momentous events. In this photo essay, he uses his lens to tell the story of how revolutions are created and sustained.

Featured Videos

The economic roots of the Arab Spring

Hernando de Soto on the fruit-seller whose fight changed the world.

The Arab Spring is usually seen as a backlash against repressive political regimes. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, best known for his advocacy for property rights in developing countries, has a different take. He says the causes were fundamentally economic. When the prevailing powers expropriated the livelihoods of entrepreneurs who lacked any legal standing, their dramatic protests sparked a revolution.


What Kind of Social Advocate are you?

Find out how you inspire change

What’s the best way to support a cause you believe in? Start by playing to your strengths. Our quiz will help identify which of seven types of social advocacy best suits your interests. We also suggest organizations where your style would enable you to have maximum impact. The rest is up to you!

Voices on Society topics

  • v7-MGIEntrepreneurship Without Boundaries

    Entrepreneurs are solving complex societal challenges across the globe. It’s happening “at the table” within established organizations, “off the grid” on difficult terrain, and “on the web” in the digital world. Across this spectrum, we often find Millennial entrepreneurs leading the charge.

  • volume-kidsHow We Give

    Distinguished experts and donors share new insights on global giving trends and propose solutions to barriers that inhibit individual philanthropy aimed at improving social outcomes.

  • delivery-homethumb-altThe Art and Science of Delivery

    Delivery is both an art and a science. We think the art is in the innovation and adaptability of the actors and different delivery models, while the science lies in replicating and scaling those models.

  • v4-hollender-1The Socially Conscious Consumer

    How the global rise of socially conscious consumers can help drive environmental and economic sustainability.

  • diaspora-tempFinancing Social Change

    Across the globe, innovative new tools are helping fund social change.

  • the-role-of-woman-in-the-arab-springThe Rise of Social Movements

    Taking to the streets: The rise of the Arab Spring and Occupy Movements.

  • Beyond advocacy – business needs to get its head in the gameJobs for the young & restless

    Youth around the world have been particularly hard hit, registering disturbingly high unemployment numbers.

  • feature-cooperSocial innovation

    Can fresh thinking solve the world’s most intractable problems?

  • quadir-progressSocial entrepreneurs

    Can social entrepreneurs create large scale change?

  • cities-ruleCities

    As the global population becomes increasingly urbanized, what will the cities of the future look like?

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